Blood, sweat, glory: The life of a white-collar boxer

“I felt like a pro, it was the best experience of my life” were the words of Daniel Halpin after he fought his way to a draw on his first of his fight nights. He had just found out he had won fight of the night and was celebrating as best you can after getting hit in the face.

You can still see the sweat, the blood after his nose had been bust in his fantastic fight, yet all Daniel can do is smile and laugh. He immediately ran off to celebrate with his friends after what he described as “the hardest journey” of his life, before running off to hug his coach.

Now, three months later, Daniel is still training and more determined to win than ever. Still with the same coach, a friend now as Daniel calls him, Daniel says that his coaching has been “instrumental” in his development as a boxer as he prepares for his next fight. He entered the ring through the “White Collar Boxing Events” that is held at Larches and Savicks gym in Preston. Larches and Savicks holds these events every three months and now hold a Champion in their gym, with Scott Fitzgerald as their main fighter.  Daniel says he wants to emulate the success of Scott but is realistic in his chances; “Obviously you want to emulate that success and I would love to get to Scott’s level someday but for now it’s about winning the fights that are put in front of me. I’ve got to be realistic and admit that this is probably nothing more than a hobby but I’m going to give it my best shot.”

Daniel moved on to speak on the “best night” of his life; “It was just such a surreal experience, you’ve got your own walkout music, a big crowd, you know, you feel like a pro.” He certainly looked like a pro on the night, throwing good right hooks and taking strong shots himself, the fight ended in a majority draw. “I didn’t actually know my opponent properly, but we’d met a few times in training (the fighters all train together leading up to the event) and I had seen that he was a good fighter, hence why we got fight of the night with a draw.” Daniel looks down at the floor at this point, his voice slowing and lowering in tone, a sense of disappointment in his voice; “Obviously I wanted to win and it’s annoying to not win considering I had a good fight, but he had a good fight to and I’m sure he feels the same way as me.” Suddenly the disappointment is wiped from his voice and it turns into excitement; “But I’m forward thinking and now I know that I’m good enough to win a fight, I’m confident that I will beat my next opponent whoever that may be.”

Many know that a boxers road to their fight is tough, but Daniel is sure that a White Collar Boxer’s road is just as hard if not harder; “You know when you come in that you will have to be fit, which I was at the time, but it’s a completely different type of fitness to if you were doing, say, football, because you’re constantly moving but you have to do little short bursts as well.” You could hardly tell this on the night with Daniel having enough energy to run off in relief but he insists that it is excruciating doing the event; “It’s painful how much energy you lose, I genuinely think it is harder for a newcomer doing a shorter fight than it is for someone who is a stalwart doing a title fight.”

He loved the fight so much that he has decided to take up the gloves properly as he trains every night on a Wednesday now. Daniel has proven that hard work pays off and he believes that his extra training helped him in his fight; “I paid for extra training alongside the free training that you get every week so that I could put up the best performance possible” says the roofing apprentice, “Obviously I have the money to do that but to put that amount of time to the side whilst working is a lot harder than it seems.”

The technical ability of White Collar Boxers has never been lauded among the boxing community and whilst Daniel agrees that it may not be the most technical fight you will ever see, he is adamant that the sport should get more recognition from boxing fans; “I know it’s not the best quality of boxing, but we’ve only been doing it eight weeks, what do you expect?” Laughed the 19-year-old, “I do think that the events should sell a few more tickets, though, it’s not expensive, you get to see a load of fights and it’s for charity, what’s not to love?” Laughed the boxer.

So one thing is for sure, no matter when his next fight is, Daniel Halpin is going to give blood, sweat and tears to win.